I will be the first to admit that what I am about to discuss here definitely has a weird/gross factor. That being said, many of the things we put into our bodies have a wierd factor if you think about it, but most of them have become so commonplace that we just don't give it any thought. Now onto my story...
During my 3rd pregnancy I saw a video at the end of my "Belly Baby" prenatal belly dance DVD explaining some of the benefits a postpartum mother can obtain by consuming her placenta. The doula presenting this topic began to explain how the placenta stores nutrients and hormones during pregnancy and, if consumed after birth, would give these nutrients back to the mother helping her body restore balance more quickly postpartum. She also mentioned that it may prevent or lessen the severity of postpartum depression, and you could even find an herbalist to encapsulate it (put it into pill form) for you so you wouldn't have to taste it; yet, you would still recieve all the glorious benefits of it!
Well, I began doing my own research, as my interest had been peaked, and discovered that not only does the placenta contain mysterious combinations of nutrients and hormones, but it has been shown to increase breast milk supply, reduce the incidence and severity of postpartum depression, increase energy and reduce postpartum fatigue! I quickly began asking around the birth community seeking someone to perform this amazing task of encapsulation my placenta! Unfortunately, no one knew how (or wanted) to do it.
On the positive side, I came across a website called placentabenefits.info which, at the time, sold a "do it yourself" kit and was generally full of wonderfully helpful information on the benefits of placenta for the postpartum mother. Now, let me pause for a breif moment here and be clear. When I speak of consuming the placenta, I am referring to a woman taking capsules containing the placenta that originated from her own body, not anyone else's. That being said, after my son was born, my husband and I encapsulated our first placenta. After word got out that I had done this, requests began to come in from other moms in our local birth community to encapsulate for them. After doing a few encapsulations, I decided to enroll in the Placenta Encapsulation Specialist course offered by Pbi (placentabenefits.info) and the rest is history.
I continue to offer my services encapsulating placentas for postpartum moms. Currently, about half of my clients are mothers who birth in hospitals and half are mothers who birth at home. The talk of placenta benefits has spread by various forms of media over the past few years, so the topic is becoming more well known, and therefore less "weird", but I'd say there's still a ways to go before it becomes "mainstream". In my opinion, not being "mainstream" is a good thing...
So back to the point: Having experienced the benefits of consuming placenta postpartum personally as well as getting feedback from my clients, I can say with confidence that it really seems to be effective at making the postpartum period more enjoyable! I experienced a postpartum hemorrhage after the birth of my 4th child, and I attribute my swift recovery to the placenta capsules. I personally did not have a full supply of milk with my first two children, but with the third, which I took my placenta pills with, I had an abundant supply! Also, I had more energy and not even the slightest bit of postpartum blues (which I had experience during my 2nd postpartum).
All in all, what I'd like to convey the most is that this is worth looking into. If you are pregnant and want more information on how your placenta can benefit you postpartum, I encourage you to visit placentabenefits.info, or email me with any questions you may have at "FertilityForwardSC@gmail.com".